Cirrus Response releases new customer experience gear

Cloud-based Cirrus Response showcasing three new and upgraded products at Call & Contact Centre Expo designed to automate, streamline and enhance the customer experience.

The solutions on display include CirrusTranslate, an upgraded version of Cirrus Conversational AI (CAI) and integration with WhatsApp. All enable enterprise contact centres to manage better and filter calls to improve agent performance and to provide a more engaging experience for the customer.

CirrusTranslate provides an option for customers to select the language of their choice and hear on-the-fly translation which replicates having a human translator on the call. Software-based translation, available 24/7 with no need to book in advance, is more cost effective than having a team of human translators and provides businesses with the ideal way to expand into overseas markets while keeping costs low. The new service is launched with 15 languages initially, which include Russian, Japanese, Chinese Mandarin and a wide range of European languages. New languages can be added by arrangement.

Data gap between IT managers and employees

There is a gap between IT leaders and employees over data security and ownership that is undermining attempts to stem the growing tide of insider breach incidents, according to new research.

Data security company Egress announced the results of its first Insider Data Breach survey, examining the root causes of employee-driven data breaches, their frequency and impact.

The research was carried out by independent research organization Opinion Matters and incorporated the views of over 500 U.S. and U.K.-based IT leaders, and over 4000 U.S. and U.K.-based employees. The survey also explored how employees and executives differ in their views of what constitutes a data breach and what is acceptable behavior when sharing data.

Datto improves its remote monitoring and professional services tools

MSP outfit Datto has spruced up its integration between Datto RMM (remote monitoring and management) and ConnectWise Manage, a professional services automation (PSA) tool.

This will mean that MSP partners will have the flexibility of monitoring and managing remote IT assets and escalations from ConnectWise Manage and builds upon the ease, reliability, scalability, and security that MSPs have come to expect from Datto RMM.

Datto chief product officer Emily Glass said: “We believe our MSP partners must have the flexibility to leverage the tools that are right for them, and not be limited by vendor,” said Emily Glass, chief product officer at Datto. “This fosters the type of innovation the industry needs to thrive and enables our partners to make the best technology choices for their business.”

GDPR didn’t solve data security problems

Ten months after GDPR came into force there are still issues using and protecting data, according to a Veritas report.

Analysts at Veritas have discovered that customers continue to struggle to find, manage and use their data continues to be a concern with some in the industry blaming it for causing productivity and revenue losses.

Users are unable to get their hands on data quick enough and it slowed productivity, with some wasting up to two hours a day looking for information they needed. The net results were that UK organisations could be losing £1.2 million annually.

There were various reasons why employees could not find data, including the lack of tagging, wading through large volumes of material or they didn’t have access.

Jasmit Sagoo, senior director, Northern Europe, Veritas, said that the introduction of GDPR has not had impact on many firms, partly because so far there seemed to be little consequences for those that failed to abide by the rules.

“My observations are that a lot of organisations have done the bare minimum. GDPR hasn’t solved the problem. Customers haven’t seen any big fines or faced the wrath so organisations are a bit relaxed about that.”

“There has been a carrot and stick approach and if you don’t see the right results then you might see the stick coming out soon. Something has to happen to provide a catalyst for it to be taken more seriously,” he said.

He added that there was an opportunity for the channel to go out pitching tools like intelligent automation to support more precise data management practices.

“There is an opportunity. The future of our society and businesses will become even more data driven,” he added “People are not harnessing its value and protecting it properly and they need to.”

“Organisations have access to a wealth of data that can create significant opportunities if they use it intelligently. Unfortunately, employees waste precious time searching for useful, and potentially business-critical, data in fragmented IT environments,” he said.

HP getting tough on counterfeiting partners

HP saw its EMEA sales fall nine per cent and it has been swift to blame partners trading in ‘imitation and counterfeit’ print supplies as the main reason.

HP’s business model depends on the sale of expensive printer ink and consumables and it feels that some of its channel partners have betrayed it by offering cheaper knock-offs

It has issued a warning that it will aggressively combat partners trading in counterfeit, cloned and imitation print cartridges.

HP’s EMEA print general manager David Ryan has told the press that he is taking a zero-tolerance approach as it looks to stem the bleeding in its print supplies business.

He said that some partners don’t realise that these cartridges are violating intellectual property, and that is something we will tackle vigorously.

HP will work with “loyal partners” to take all the action we can where illegal trading practices are being engaged.

He said imitation cartridges that HP has tested have “high failure rates and poor print quality”, while many fail Blue Angel tests (a German certification for environmentally friendly products) or can damage the printer.

These reasons, he claimed, can mean that buying cheaper cartridges is more expensive in the long run.

HP has blocked the use of third-party cartridges in its printers.

In 2016 it pushed a firmware update that blocked the use of unofficial HP cartridges in its printers, claiming it was to protect customers, only to reverse the decision following public outrage.

This time the cunning plan is to educate  channel partners and customers on why its own products are the better option.


Gradwell scores 3CX contract

Gradwell Communications has been confirmed as 3CX’s first solutions provider for the UK as the company moves from a traditional box-shifter and software licence flogger to more value-add solutions and services.

Gradwell’s channel community will now have the opportunity to take full advantage of increasing demand for 3CX’s IP PBX, plus the telephony solutions and services that wrap around it.

3CX CEO Nick Galea said that Gradwell was a visionary in the UK business communications market, having been one of the first to launch a SIP trunk service.

“It’s an honour to be able to team up with an established and leading provider in delivering a complete solution for the on-premise and cloud market. Customers and partners will have peace of mind that they are buying a solution fully supported and guaranteed end-to-end,” he said.

“Delivering successful VoIP solutions is about so much more than providing the required number of IP PBX licences, and that’s where Gradwell’s value-add services come into play,” explained Gradwell’s founder and CTO, Peter Gradwell. Gradwell is one of the UK’s fastest growing cloud communications providers focusing on small to medium-sized enterprises.

As well as 3CX’s licences channel partners will now be able to drive new business and revenue generating solutions, from a single supplier, by offering Gradwell’s wraparound solutions including highly-secure hosting, server provisioning, SIP trunks, session border controller (SBC) installation, CRM integration and handsets. The Gradwell team also has extensive expertise with 3CX’s Call Flow Designer so can implement all necessary call routing requirements.

“Gradwell is the only provider to have developed solutions, specifically designed for the channel, which complements the features and functionality of the 3CX IP PBX. For example, with a Gradwell solution, the end user can push call recordings to cloud storage devices, freeing up considerable server space,” the company said.

Other value-add offerings from Gradwell include a team of 3CX accredited engineers dedicated to hosting and supporting 3CX, onboarding resources working exclusively on 3CX and a 20 strong front-line support team to answer and manage any issues.

Jamie Ward is now Gradwell’s newly appointed sales, and marketing director said that the new agreement with 3CX with other channel changes means he has taken the job during interesting times.

“Gradwell wants to provide the channel community with VoIP solutions that give them a huge opportunity to drive new business and increased revenue. The agreement with 3CX does just that. Our complete solution eliminates all the complexity around the deployment of a VoIP solution, not just for our resellers but for their customers. Happy customers, mean happy resellers and happy resellers mean repeat business for 3CX and Gradwell,” said Ward.


G-Cloud 11 starts Monday


Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has revealed that the application process for G-Cloud 11 will start on Monday,

CCS sent out a tweet today confirming that it will open the eleventh iteration of the framework on 25 March.

Kaleyra appoints new chief financial officer

Cloud communications outfit Kaleyra has appointed Julia Pulzone as its new chief financial officer to replace Luca Giardina Papa.

Pulzone will lead the company’s finance team as it makes its planned transition from a private to a public company later this year. Pulzone will report directly to Kaleyra founder, CEO and chairman Dario Calogero.

QBS acquires majority share in Zedsphere

QBS Technology has written a cheque for the majority shareholding in MSP distributor Zedsphere.

It is the outfit’s second acquisition of 2019, since the purchase of French distributor Siener Informatique in February. This latest move adds a further 814 unique resellers to the group, QBS revealed, and a new office in Warrington.

Vectra AI adopted by Ardagh Group

Vectra, the network detection and response solutions provider, has announced that Ardagh Group selected the Cognito network detection and response platform from Vectra to expose attackers hidden inside its network and perform conclusive incident investigations.

Small businesses need ‘cyber security champions’

Small businesses should train up “cybersecurity champions” to better protect themselves from the threat of cyber attacks, new government research has suggested.

A report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) claimed that in the case of more than half (57 percent) of businesses who had suffered a recent breach, the incident had first been spotted by staff rather than by software.

Fat cat CEOs get paid more after cybersecurity breaches

It would appear that CEOs benefit from cybersecurity breaches and rather than being fired for allowing their companies to be hacked.

Daniele Bianchi, assistant professor of finance at Warwick Business School has found that far from being fired, CEOs of breached firms were found to be more likely to receive an increase in total and incentive pay several years after an incident.